Color & Control:

National survey on long-term care

Findings from HSO 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Standards Organization (HSO) is developing a new National LTC Services Standard to bring the voices of residents, families, and Canada’s long-term care workforce to the forefront.

In response to the federal government’s commitment to improve the provision of long-term care across Canada, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), Health Standards Organization (HSO) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) are collaborating to develop two new complementary National Standards for Long-Term Care (LTC) that are shaped by the needs of residents, families, and Canada’s LTC workforce.

Canadians were invited to complete its Inaugural National Survey on Long-Term Care (LTC) to get a better sense of their views on what an optimal future state of LTC ought to look like in Canada. The report provides highlights from  the 16,093 responses that were received between March 31 and July 31, 2021. The majority of individuals surveyed felt that safe, reliable and high-quality care was not being provided. 

When asked about the most important issues to address respondents said ensuring the provision of high-quality care, ensuring the safety of residents and staff while respecting the rights of residents, ensuring a well-supported, strong and capable workforce, ensuring appropriate funding exists to support the provision of high-quality care and ensuring greater transparency and accountability and reconsidering the provision of for-profit LTC care.

When asked what was most important when it comes to the provision of “resident- and family-centred care practices that value the importance of respect, dignity, trust and quality of life” in LTC homes, survey respondents’ answers fell within the following themes: prioritizing the rights, needs, and satisfaction of residents; caring, compassionate, and competent interprofessional care teams; and an environment that upholds the qualities of home.

When asked what was most important when it comes to the provision of “safe, reliable, and high-quality care” the following themes summarize answers; the reimaging of long-term care as a true continuum of care; adequate funding; responsible national standards and governance; and enhanced organizational accountability and transparency.

When asked what was most important when it comes to maintaining a “healthy and competent workforce,” answers represented the following themes: job security; prioritizing the health and safety of the long-term care workforce; an affirming, positive, and supportive work environment; and education and licensing standards.

When asked what was most important when it comes to the environment, operations and maintenance of homes to improve the quality of life of residents and families, answers fell within the following themes: aiming to enhance resident quality of life; ensuring safety and security of residents and staff; and striving for the highest standards of cleanliness and maintenance.

Of note, 99.4% of survey respondents felt LTC homes should be required to meet standards so next steps in HSO’s public engagement will lead to the development of HSO’s new National LTC Services Standard—which will be released for public review in early 2022 and then completed in the fall of 2022.

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